ACLS Certification?! - page 2

My new job requires me to be ACLS certified and I'll be taking the class in January. Until I got this job, I have only worked psych research. The other nurses here tell me the class and exam are very... Read More

  1. by   NancyRN
    I'm ACLS Certified and I DON'T feel prepared for a code!
  2. by   OzNurse69
    Originally posted by NancyRN
    I'm ACLS Certified and I DON'T feel prepared for a code!
    Same Nancy. And you know what....here's a newsflash for you....learning the theory of ACLS & practising megacodes ISN'T like what happens in real life!!

    I failed my first megacode assessment - the reason - I didn't tell the people who were doing the BLS part of the code to continue with CPR every minute. I mean, we are all professionals, wouldn't you think that in "real life" if you were doing chest compressions or bagging someone, you would keep doing it until someone asked you to stop?? However, they did let me do it again, with a different scenario, & I passed it second time around.
  3. by   Chaundra
    I got the instructor to print strips of each rhythm off from the monitor. They have a contraption that they can dial the rhythm they want and it shows up on the monitor. So for each one, I cut a section and made a flashcard. This way you learn them exactly as they will look on the monitor during your exam. I also found the precourse very helpful, but I don't know if every facility does it. It was once a week for four weeks before the test. Good luck!
  4. by   fab4fan
    It really depends on where you take it...I took it where it was taught by paramedics who had a real chip on their shoulders, and I thought I'd been dropped into boot camp with DI's from hell. I froze, and, of course, failed.

    I went somewhere else a few months later, where the emphasis was on learning; I really felt much better, and actually learned.

    So, it really depends on where you go. But I would NOT recommend taking it without doing a thorough review, esp. since you have not been working in an area where you were using these skills. It takes time to learn all the rhythms, and what the correct intervention is. One site that helped me was www.randylarson.com. Go to the ACLS section, and they will have everything you'll need...funny, too.

    Good luck!
  5. by   kavi
    It definitely depends on where you go. The hospital that I went to did not automatically pass anyone. And if you didn't know your drugs or rhythm strips, you were out the door.

    Although it's true the new book doesn't focus on rhythm strips, the testers still did. I'm not saying they were mean or harsh, and they tried to give the benefit of 'doubt' if you obviously studied and made a honest mistake.

    But if it seemed like you hadn't really prepared, they weren't going to coddle you.

    I've been through many many many codes as an
    EMT and I think ACLS is wonderful, even if it's not always easy. Because it puts everyone on the same 'page' of what to do. And so often, I've worked codes with nurses who have had little experience with them. Codes can be very scary, and the more prepared you are, the less traumatized you will be.

    As far as what Rstuart said----I've copied it below----we still had to be able to perform those skills. I took ACLS in March of '02, and we had many skill stations to pass, including those mentioned in the quote:
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    """"""""Many years ago a nurse first had to recertify in BLS the first night. You had an airway testing station where you had to demonstrate intubation of an infant, child and adult manequin (timed and with proper technique), insertion of oral airways, insertion of EOAs, proper use of bag mask devices and other delivery systems. There was a central line insertion testing station. There was a separate dysrhythmia testing station/exam. There was a station called Therapeutic Modalities where you were shown a slide with a brief case scenerio and a rhythm strip; you had to identify the rhythm and then race through/list (this was another timed test) all the interventions in the correct/appropriate algorithm. There was a written exam which was longer and in my opinion more difficult than the current exam. And finally there was the megacode...not much different in content but in those days all it took was missing a pulse check or other miscue and that was it---you had to repeat megacode. """""""""
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since there seems to be such a difference in what we have gone through, you might want to call the site you are planning to attend and ask what their criteria are.
    Last edit by kavi on Dec 15, '02

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